Thursday, July 31, 2008

Back To School Promo's



It may just be me but this summer seems to be going by faster than usual. Considering we reside in Arizona, that is good news for us. For those with children still in school, that means that the usual rush begins to get ready for the upcoming school year.

For those of us in the retail trade, it also means that we should start marketing and advertising those items that are appropriate for the annual Pre-School preparation buying rush. This can be an excellent time to pick up some extra sales. Granted, not every merchant of handmade and handcrafted products can take advantage of this but many can.

Many merchants of handmade and handcrafted products use this time to clear out items in preparation for the upcoming holiday season. Merchants who create and sell products in the categories of Accessories, Bags & Purses, Bath & Beauty, Children, Clothing, Crochet, Jewelry, Knitting, Leather Goods, Needlecraft, and Paper Goods might want to consider taking this time of year to take advantage of this pre-school buying rush.

To assist our listed merchants in doing this, The Hand Made Product Directory will be placing on line in the directory a special Back To School Special’s page. It will be advertised on the Front Page of the directory. The page will go on line 8/2/08 and come down on 9/1/08. Each item listed will feature a 125 X 125 pixel picture of the item linked to the store owners items sales page.

We will be releasing press releases about the Back To School page and submitting it to all the large search engines along with other promotional activities. If you have items you wish to place on this page, the cost is a ridiculous $1.00 per item so you can list several items very inexpensively. Don’t be surprised that once shoppers get to your store that they pick up additional items. Not only can you list individual products, you can also place a Store Coupon on the page.

To list items on the Back To School Special page, send THIS EMAIL

Want To Increase The Traffic To Your Store? Get Listed In The Hand Made Product Directory Today!

Copyright © 1988-2008, The Hand Made Product Directory / New Creations Consulting, LLC

All rights reserved

info@dmpmc.net www.dmpmc.net/THMD

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ack To School Special page, send THIS EMAIL.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Have you tried using this advertising technique - Ambush Marketing?

No it isn’t standing behind a door and grabbing customers as they way by. Ambush marketing is a strategy used by companies to promote their brands at places usually without paying any fees for doing so. A classic example is about the Dutch buyers of Heineken beer who were given green hats to wear to the recent Euro 2008 football tournament. Anyone who tried to enter a stadium wearing one, however, as many fans did in 2008, were asked to remove them. It doesn’t always work.

Ambush marketing is very opportunistic. Its goal is to take advantage of situations which allow brands or products to get extra exposure at minimal or no cost. Sometimes that involves going right into the lions den and clashing head on with a competitor. Sometimes it requires stealth and more guerrilla-like tactics. Some times, you have to be down right sneaky.

What marketers and anyone who wants to promote themselves can learn is the strategy of seeking out people-saturated public spaces (online or offline) and seek to populate that area with your message. Beggars and poster street teams are all familiar with how to promote their agenda or needs in areas where people frequently pass through.

We have found that it does seem to be easier to pull some of these tactics in the physical world than on line but it can be done. Some times you can simple have some of your creations with you at all times. Now of course if you happen to make custom furniture, it isn’t too easy to be toting around a coffee table with you but if your creations are something that is manageable, this can work well. Wearing your items is great. Wearing pieces of clothing with your company info on it is also an option. I’m sure you can also think of other ways to implement these tactics.


Want To Increase The Traffic To Your Store? Get Listed In The Hand Made Product Directory Today!

Copyright © 1988-2008, The Hand Made Product Directory / New Creations Consulting, LLC

All rights reserved

info@dmpmc.net www.dmpmc.net/THMD

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A View From The Gallery

We thought that some merchants might like to see a sample of our weekly Gallery item submissions to YouTube look like.

Are you ready for the holidays yet?

For some it may seem way too early to starting to create products for the holiday season but it really isn’t. That was one lesson we learned the hard way. The first year DM Production and Sales started creating Country Rustic and Primitive home d├ęcor items we found ourselves very poorly prepared for our first holiday season. As a result, we lost many sales that we should have had.

Wise merchants of all kinds usually start building their inventory by the middle of summer at the latest. I know for those of us that create our own products, this means more work than ever. The second problem that arises is deciding on what to create. It isn’t easy second guessing what shoppers are going to be looking for six months from now. Considering the economy and all the other factors that influence shopping trends it isn’t surprising if many crafters find themselves scratching their heads.

If you are a merchant that has been through a few holiday seasons, at least you have some experience to fall back on. If this is your first season, it can be even more frustrating. As if the holidays aren’t hectic enough, not having the right quantity or the right items to sell can really make you wonder if you wouldn’t be better off raising worms instead of what you are doing now.

Now if you have been in business a while and have the capital and a few previous holiday seasons behind you, you can make some decisions based on your experience. New merchants however don’t have these past experiences to fall upon so what do they do?

There is one line of thought that says that if you are caught in this circumstance, the best thing to do is create as many items similar to those you have been successfully selling since shoppers tend to buy things they like for friends and family gifts. Personally I think this is a logical line of thought under most circumstances but this year, from what I’m hearing and reading from the so called experts is going to be a difficult one for all merchants because of the economy.

Considering this fact, it would seem logical for a merchant to do their best to have a mix of items in several price ranges that shoppers can select from. Try to stock as much as possible on the supplies needed to make additional items of all price ranges so when you see that one price range starts looking like it is going to be the main seller, you can focus your production in on it without having to scramble for supplies.

Remember, history repeats itself and we have been through down times in the economy many times before and it always comes back. Because of this, what you don’t sell now, will probably sell later in the year. The key is to maximize your sales during the hot holiday buying season.

Want To Increase The Traffic To Your Store? Get Listed In The Hand Made Product Directory Today!

Copyright © 1988-2008, The Hand Made Product Directory / New Creations Consulting, LLC

All rights reserved

info@dmpmc.net www.dmpmc.net/THMD

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Shopping for handmade and handcrafted items couldn't be easier

For years, if you wanted to purchase handmade or handcrafted items, you had to search high and wide both on line and in the physical world and you still had difficulty finding what you probably wanted. Today however things are so much different. The era of Handmade has become one of the hottest marketing area around and will continue to do so for quite some time to come.

Places like Etsy, Dawanda and others that actually allow handmade and handcraft merchants the ability to sell their creations much easier than ever before. They have made the purchasing of handmade and handcrafted easier for the average shopper.

Being in the business of providing a venue for those selling handmade and handcrafted products does however make them somewhat bias when it comes to promoting and advertising. They only want shoppers to come to their shopping venue which is only natural.

Since there are many different venues and many more merchants available to shoppers than any one or two venues could possible attract, that leaves the shopper with a bit of a slanted selection of merchants to choose from. This is where The Hand Made Product Directory is different.

Not being a selling venue, its goal is to provide the shopping public with as wide a selection of handmade and handcrafted product merchants as is possible from all sources. Its simple directory format allows the shopper to either casually browse through the thousands of stores listed or search for specific items from the comfort of their own home.

Another advantage for shoppers of using The Hand Made Product Directory is that it has stores listed from around the world and who sell through many venues. Thus pulling the best stores and products available for the shoppers selection.

If you haven't used The Hand Made Product Directory yet, you will find it a fun and easy place to start your shopping experience.

If your a merchant of handmade or handcrafted products and haven't listed your store in the directory, it's Free and Easy.

Want To Increase The Traffic To Your Store? Get Listed In The Hand Made Product Directory Today!

Copyright © 1988-2008, The Hand Made Product Directory / New Creations Consulting, LLC

All rights reserved

info@dmpmc.net www.dmpmc.net/THMD

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Special New Service Announcement From The Hand Made Product Directory

We here at The Hand Made Product Directory are always seeking ways to help our listed store owners more effectively and inexpensively market and advertise their stores. Over the last two months, we have been quietly and randomly been contacting a significant number of our listed store owners and asking them how we might better serve them here at the directory. We asked them what they would like us to do so the directory would be of more value to them for their marketing and advertising purposes.

From the responses and feedback we received this was what most of the respondents were looking for. They wanted more flexibility in the types of advertising they did so that they could modify their marketing and advertising as needed based on any given circumstances. They also wanted the ability to better control their marketing and advertising budgets by spreading out the costs over a given period of time. And finally they wanted to do it as cheaply as possible.

We have taken these suggestions to heart and we believe that we have developed a solution that should pretty well meet these needs. We have developed a simple membership program that allows for subscribed store owners to take advantage of the majority of various methods of advertising the directory offers, and probably any new ones we add, and do it very inexpensively.

If you would like a more detailed, SEND THIS EMAIL and all the details will be emailed back to you or go HERE in the directory.

Want To Increase The Traffic To Your Store? Get Listed In The Hand Made Product Directory Today!

Copyright © 1988-2008, The Hand Made Product Directory / New Creations Consulting, LLC

All rights reserved

info@dmpmc.net www.dmpmc.net/THMD

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Using YouTube To Promote Your Store

Some of our readers already take advantage of YouTube to promote their creations and stores. We use it to promote The Hand Made Product Directory. There is a group of store owners and creators who find the concept of using videos and the like overwhelming. We have an easy remedy for you.

There are many who neither have the expertise and experience nor the equipment for creating videos. The good news is that you don’t need any of these to start promoting your store on YouTude. There is a free site called One True Media which makes it very easy to create slide shows and montages and upload them to YouTube. Of course you will need and account at both these sites but it is easy and free to sign up at both sites.

With just a little bit of practice creating your presentations at One True Media, you will have your store showing up on YouTube and pulling in new customers.

Remember, if you are not already listed in The Hand Made Product Directory, it’s free and easy.

Want To Increase The Traffic To Your Store? Get Listed In The Hand Made Product Directory Today!

Copyright © 1988-2008, The Hand Made Product Directory / New Creations Consulting, LLC

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info@dmpmc.net www.dmpmc.net/THMD

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Getting Organized

It’s been a few days since I’ve posted anything here but between meeting and other business duties, I simply rand out of hours in the days. That brings me to what I want to write about this morning. I know I’m not alone here because almost anyone who has their own business finds themselves in the situation of simply too much work to be done in too short a time frame.

I’m a very organized person. Some might even say overly so. I have however learned that the best way to maximize ones productivity is to be organized. This didn’t happen overnight for me. It took time and experimentation for me to develop systems that keep me organized.

Those that are relatively new to running their own business these days have a big advantage that I didn’t have when I started. Today the small business owner has a wide variety of resources to take advantage of from pieces of software all the way through the use of the internet.

There isn’t time or space to go into all the various resources but I do want to look at one particular type of organizing software that probably is the most useful. It’s also one that is usually not used to its fullest potential. That piece of software is a good PIM (Personal Information Manager).

Since there are so many different types of PIM’s on the market today, it would not be practical to talk about the capabilities of each one separately so my suggestion for every business person is to take 30 minutes or so and explore the PIM they are using. Re-read through the HELPS files for that particular PIM again. I would be surprised if you don’t find several more features that you can use to help you become more organized and in turn more productive.


Want To Increase The Traffic To Your Store? Get Listed In The Hand Made Product Directory Today!

Copyright © 1988-2008, The Hand Made Product Directory / New Creations Consulting, LLC

All rights reserved

info@dmpmc.net www.dmpmc.net/THMD

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

How long does it take your customers to checkout?

We have all had the experience of standing in a checkout line for what seems like an eternity. None of us like it and for most of us, it’s rather irritating. I ran across some statistics the other day that were rather interesting. These statistics are focused on the physical world shopper but they also have relevance for online shoppers and merchants.

A survey from M/A/R/C Research found that four out of five shoppers are satisfied with wait times--of about four minutes or less--at stores in most cases. But it also found that 10 percent were exasperated enough to leave a checkout line if the wait becomes too lengthy. Have checkout times become an even more important component of the shopping experience?

Assuming this information is correct, it raises an interesting issue for on line merchants. The entire internet experience revolves around the concept of instant gratification. As such, if people can’t find or obtain what they want at a given web site quickly, they just as quickly move on. The same is true for the purchasing process. Abandoned Shopping Cart figures indicate that if the checkout process is too elaborate or long, customers just click away and move on.

Since so many on line merchants use third party payment processing (PayPal, Google Checkout, ect.) entities to handle their customer checkout and payments, it really leaves the merchant with little control over the whole process. Because of this I started asking myself “What can the merchant do to help expedite the checkout process?”.

In my opinion, the number one thing any merchant can do is to make sure that the customer completely understands the cost of what they are buying. This includes shipping and handling charges which are frequently involved with the overall sale. Explaining completely the costs involved with any products sale in the products description and in your TOS plus any other location that might seem appropriate can help insure that the customer isn’t hit with a surprise at checkout time.

If you are not doing this, you may very well be able to help your sales by doing so.

Want To Increase The Traffic To Your Store? Get Listed In The Hand Made Product Directory Today!

Copyright © 1988-2008, The Hand Made Product Directory / New Creations Consulting, LLC

All rights reserved

info@dmpmc.net www.dmpmc.net/THMD

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Monday, July 7, 2008

Is The Heat Of Summer Making You Lazy? Be Encouraged!

It is no secret that people get kind of lazy in the summer, they go on vacation, their kids are home from school, ect, ect, ect. In fact, some days, the last thing on their mind is shopping or doing “business” stuff. If you feel that way, don’t feel bad. It’s really very normal. However this is the time when good old will power has to be relied on to keep us going

We all need to keep our noses to the grindstone and keep working during these months. The results from the effort you put into your business today will show up 3 months down the road. If you keep growing your business, you’ll have a great September, October, and November. If you take the summer off, you may not notice a drop in profits until September, and then it will take a while to build things back up.

If on the other hand you keep at it, by the end of summer you will be seeing the results by increased sales and you will have the knowledge that you have just beaten many others who did give into the temptation.

Want To Increase The Traffic To Your Store? Get Listed In The Hand Made Product Directory Today!

Copyright © 1988-2008, The Hand Made Product Directory / New Creations Consulting, LLC

All rights reserved

info@dmpmc.net www.dmpmc.net/THMD

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Tracking your Ad Campaigns (Promotions)

As I mentioned the other day, using an promotions calendar is one of the necessities of any business that advertises. I had several emails from store owners asking if there was an actual program that they could purchase for this purposes. There are programs out there but why spend the money. If you use either Outlook or Thunderbird or almost any half way decent email program with a calendar associated with it, you have all you really need. All you have to do is record when you want to have the promotion, probably as a task or event, give it a specific color code and you have your Promotional Calendar.

This may sound really strange coming from someone who is a very detailed oriented person and a confessed workaholic but it seems like far too many people like to turn simple tasks into rocket science and I have never figured out why. Unless they are obsessive compulsive. The same is true with many business activities. Keep them as simple as possible. The less details the less that can go wrong. When you create something, do you deliberately look to add extra steps in the process? Not likely! If anything, you’re looking for ways to reduce the steps, if possible.

Some people think that as a business grows, it just simply has to become more complicated. Yes there certainly is going to be more to do, but it doesn’t have to be more complicated. The basic principles you used to grow your company haven’t all of a sudden become useless. If anything, they now take on even greater importance. It’s kind of like the old saying, “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it”. One of the biggest advantages about this is that it also reduces the stress level which we all have far too much of today.

Want To Increase The Traffic To Your Store? Get Listed In The Hand Made Product Directory Today!

Copyright © 1988-2008, The Hand Made Product Directory / New Creations Consulting, LLC

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info@dmpmc.net www.dmpmc.net/THMD

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A simple way to keep tabs on your “Brand”

Knowing what is being said about your “Brand” (company name or whatever) is pretty important as a business owner. You can always spend hours searching the internet or you can do it the easy way. For those who know me, it’s pretty well known that I’m not all that big a fan of most large search engines. I will and do use them even though I think they have far too much control over the internet on the whole to begin with. I learned a long time ago not to cut off my nose to spite my face, as my dad used to say.

Within Google and some other large search engines are free features that are very useful for store owners. Sure, these search engines are gathering information from these free services and features that they use for only God knows what purposes but we might as well use them. If you haven’t heard of Google Alerts, you should start using it. It can save you a whole lot of time in the area of keeping track of your “Brand” on line. It will literally let you know (as often as you want) what actions or comments are taking place on line.

Setting up Google Alerts is very easy so I will not go into how to do it here. The instructions are on line and easy to follow. If you don’t have a Google Account, of course you will need to set one up and then sign up for Google Alerts. Give it a try.

Shopping is more fun when you find incredible quality at incredible prices! Thousands Of Stores To Shop From

Want To Increase The Traffic To Your Store? Get Listed In The Hand Made Product Directory Today!

Copyright © 1988-2008, The Hand Made Product Directory / New Creations Consulting, LLC

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